Thursday, December 27, 2007

Should big pharma face criminal charges for deaths?

From the BBC today: "Almost 3,000 people have died in the past three years after suffering serious side-effects or allergies to their medicines, say official figures."

Apparently there are about 13000 more who have suffered reactions to drugs and countless others whose reactions have not been reported. Taking different medicines at the same time is even more dodgy. Polypharmacy is common, especially with older people, and the chance of drugs interacting with each other is very high.

What to do though??? Arthritis, atrial fibrilation, COPD together could put you on a cocktail of at least half a dozen regular medicines that would not just be keeping pain at bay but are keeping you alive. The answer is firstly to stay healthy, then keep it simple and finally do what works for you.

An alternative solution, which might be more interesting... if drug companies were faced criminal charges for each death I am sure that their drugs would be far safer! This would also eat into their obscene profits. If 3000 people died from eating Heinz tomato soup I feel certain that Mr Heinz would be in the dock, so why not Mr Pfizer or Mr Glaxo?

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